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Numerous people and families in Charlotte share their homes and their lives with dogs, and on any given day you will surely see numerous people walking their dogs through town.

However, while dogs may be man’s best friend, at times these lovable creatures can inflict serious and even life-threatening injuries. Dog bites are a serious problem, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, there are nearly half a million people injured by a dog bite every year.

Whether you are dog bite victim, or a dog owner whose dog has injured another person, it is important to contact an experienced Charlotte dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in Charlotte can assist an individual in building a claim to help maximize any potential monetary compensation.

Dog Bite Laws

North Carolina has several separate statutes that are all related to dog bites and can impose liability on a dog owner when their animal bites another person.

Under Section 67 of the North Carolina General Statutes, a dog bite victim can show that a dog’s owner is liable for their injuries if they can show that either the dog was dangerous, or if their dog injured a person or damaged another person’s property.

These broad categories allow those injured by a dog bite or through other dangerous behavior to recover for their injuries.

Strict Liability

North Carolina imposes strict liability on dog owners for dog bites, when the dog’s owner knows of their dog’s dangerous tendencies. However, North Carolina also follows the “One Bite Rule” which will shield a dog owner from liability when they had no reason to know that their animal might bite someone.

Furthermore, dog bite laws in Charlotte are further complicated by provisions in the statutes which will only impose strict liability on a dog owner when they “intentionally, knowingly and willfully” allow a dog who is at least six months old to run at large, at night, unaccompanied by its owner or a member of the owner’s family. This is according to North Carolina General Statutes § 67-12.

Because dog bites cases can be incredibly complicated and fact-sensitive, it is important that a dog bite victim, or a dog owner whose animal has bitten another person, contact an experienced Charlotte dog bite attorney as soon as possible to discuss their case.

Defining a Dangerous Dog

North Carolina General Statutes § 67-4.1 defines a dangerous dog as one that:

  • Without provocation has killed or inflicted severe injury on a person
  • Is determined by the person or Board designated by the county or municipal authority responsible for animal control to be potentially dangerous because the dog has engaged in one or more of the behaviors listed in subdivision (2) of this subsection
  • Any dog owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of dog fighting, or any dog trained for dog fighting

Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

North Carolina laws clearly define the types of compensation a dog bite victim is entitled to recover if they can prove the dog’s owner was negligent.

However, because of North Carolina’s contributory negligence laws, which can prevent a dog bite victim from recovering for a dog bite injury if they contributed to the event, it is important to contact a dog bite lawyer in Charlotte. A dog bite victim may be able to recover any of the following types of compensation:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

In addition, certain dog bite cases may be so severe that a dog bite victim may be entitled to punitive damages. However, because dog bite cases are so complex, any person who has been injured by a dog, and any dog owner whose animal has been accused of injuring another should contact an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon as possible.

Benefit of a Lawyer

Dog bites can happen for a number of reasons, however, no matter the reason for a dog bite, you should take your case seriously. If a dog has bitten you or someone you know, contact an experienced Charlotte dog bite attorney to discuss your case and the types of compensation you may be entitled to.

Additionally, a dog bite lawyer in Charlotte can help a dog owner defend against dog bite cases, and can protect your rights.